Staff Scientist I - Diagnostics and Countermeasures Branch - Silver Spring, MD

Updated: April 10, 2020
Job ID: 215722
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Location: Silver Spring, MD, United States

Join the HJF Team!

HJF is seeking a Staff Scientist I to support the Diagnostics and Countermeasures Branch (DCB) located at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Silver Spring and Rockville, MD. HJF provides scientific, technical and programmatic support services to the DCB. 

The Staff Scientist will lead the development, modification, and/or application of diagnostic assays for detection/confirmation of infectious pathogens of US Military and U.S. The incumbent will be expected to apply a wide variety of scientific principles, expertise and concepts to develop, improve and/or support novel diagnostic clinical laboratory capabilities focused for prevalent and emerging pathogens and in support of vaccine, therapeutic, and/or cure research. The incumbent will work within a multidisciplinary environment and teams encompassing US Military, US Government Agencies, Foreign Militaries, Non-Profit Organizations, Academia, and International Scientific collaborators.


  1. Oversee the design, development, evaluation and implementation of assays to include serological immunoassays and molecular assays, Real-Time, Digital Droplet PCR, and next generation systems for detection and/or quantification of infectious pathogens in a variety of specimen matrices.
  2. Lead efforts of a scientific team to develop novel approaches, generate reagents and diagnostic tools to improve diagnostic assays and respond rapidly and efficiently to emerging pathogens. Evaluate state-of-art technologies and platforms and asses their application for DCB missions.      
  3. Contribute to strategic planning and future directions of the Branch. 
  4. Oversee development and application of regulatory documentation. Interact with quality assurance and clinical unit leads to meet regulatory agency compliance.    
  5. Establish intramural and extramural collaborations to strengthen DCB scientific capabilities focusing on improving diagnostic countermeasures.  
  6. Coordinate and conduct technology assistance visits for DCB intramural and extramural collaborators as required.
  7. Train and mentor junior research personnel in execution of new/novel test assays and systems. 
  8. Prepare new project concept sheets, proposals, and appropriate budgets as required.
  9. Assist with intramural and extramural applications for programmatic funding.
  10. Prepare written reports, abstracts for submission to scientific conferences, manuscripts for submission to scientific journals, Material Transfer Agreements, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, budgets, and grants. 
  11. Participate in DCB and WRAIR meetings and seminars.
  12. Maintains a safe work environment.
  13. Completes all required HJF, WRAIR Safety, HIPPA, CITI, and other required training within specified time frames.  
  14. Provides collaborative assistance to other Research Scientists that require the incumbent's expertise.
  15. May require international travel. 
  16. Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Knowledge of serological and molecular biological techniques used in research laboratories. Highly skilled in isolation, manipulation and characterization of nucleic acids (NA), proteins, design of primers/ probes, performance of real-time PCR assays and operation of basic lab equipment and use of peptides, antibodies and detection reagents in serological methods for detection of infectious pathogens. Ability to design, develop, improve and oversee implementation and execution of high complexity next generation assays. Train, mentor and supervise technical staff. Excellent communication skills and ability to perform optimally in a group environment. Experienced in preparation of research plans, proposals, solicitation of funding and preparation of manuscripts for submission to scientific journals. Proven ability to work independently and as a member of a multidisciplinary team. Proven ability to present scientific findings as shown by first author publications and oral presentations at scientific meetings.  

Minimum Education: Doctoral degree required. 

Minimum Experience/ Training Requirements: 4 years of research experience in molecular biology, immunology or cell biology to include assay development, improvement, evaluation and adaptation of developed assays to clinical applications required.

Physical Capabilities: Job performance requires ability to move around and between several laboratory areas located at 9100 Brookville Road, building 503 and 508, Silver Spring, MD  20910, and 13 Taft Court, Rockville, MD. The individual must be able to work in a Biological Safety Cabinet for handling of infectious agents and performance of various assays and techniques. Fine motor coordination in manipulation of laboratory materials and attention to detail is essential. The individual must be able to sit for lengthy periods to include, but not limited to performing technical analysis at instrumentation, and data analysis at the computer terminal.

Supervisory Responsibilities: Will be required to work as a member of a scientific team including all sections of the DCB. Supervisory roles may include postdoctoral fellows and/or senior technical staff. Reports to chief scientist and team leaders.   

Work Environment: Laboratory environment; may require infrequent working evenings and weekends; will involve working with biohazardous materials to include but not limited to, HIV, HBV, HCV, Sexually Transmitted Infectious agents and other Blood Borne Pathogens. Note the laboratory will move and relocate to Ft. Detrick in 18 months. 

Background/Security: Must have lived in the US 3 out of the past 5 years; eligible to pass a NACI background.

Employment with HJF is contingent upon successful completion of a background check, which may include, but is not limited to, contacting your professional references, verification of previous employment, addresses, education, and credentials, a criminal background check, drug screening, and a department of motor vehicle (DMV) check.  

HJF is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Any qualifications to be considered as equivalents, in lieu of stated minimums, require the prior approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer.